About Philasande Mahlakata
The Port St Johns traditional healer and Project Coordinator for Umzimvubu Farmers Support Network is one of a number of activists representing the estimated 1 million illegal cannabis growers in SA. She says the farmers want to work with the high THC strains of indigenous cannabis they are familiar with rather than convert to hemp. She says the unique landraces of Pondoland and elsewhere should be the cornerstone of SA’s cannabis policy and every effort should be made to protect and develop our landraces and not allow seed from outside the country to be allowed across the Kei River. Hemp, has its place, she says. A hemp house will not kill you if it falls on you, but low THC-strains of cannabis should be grown far away from the country’s so-called “dagga belt”.